On Forgiveness

“Time will tell” is a saying people use a lot, but this morning I actually saw the saying coming into life, so I will tell you what time told me about “The Descendants”, the movie brilliantly directed by Alexander Payne that is currently in theaters.

Last night when I left the theater I knew I liked the movie, I wasn’t sure what was about it I liked the most; maybe it was the perfect portrayal of what normal life is like in Hawaii, maybe it was that feeling of pain, grief and redemption that ripped the movie screen and jumped inside me, maybe it was George Clooney and Shailene Woodley’s brilliant acting, or a very well crafted and sensible screenplay; but whatever it was, something was set in motion inside me and I couldn’t put my finger on it right away.

This morning, after some time had passed, I was minding my own business and then it hit me: “Forgiveness! That's it! Being forgiving, they were forgiving to themselves and each other above all!”. It was almost as if lightning was striking and I could see it coming down and up thru me, that was what had touched me so much in that movie, that was what the whole movie was about, or perhaps it wasn’t, but it portrayed forgiveness in a beautiful and natural way.

It starts with George Clooney’s character, he may be a flawed man, but he acknowledges it and he finally has a chance to do something about it, he knows this is the moment, the window of opportunity to make things right for himself and his entire family. Every character, one by one starts an exercise of soul searching and understanding, and they go through every tiny bit of feeling inside themselves and they forgive, even if they don’t want to, they work on forgiving, honestly forgiving, because it is the right thing to do. Alexander Payne shows us in this crafty movie that forgiveness is necessary in order to go on living.

These characters go through so much pain and destruction in their lives and yet they find a way to be together and show support for each other and give the word family a real meaning. We may not forget certain things in life, but we can definitely forgive them and move on, and grow from it, learn from it, use those things to make us better human beings, and I believe the most important message in this movie is that before being forgiving with others, we have to be forgiving on ourselves to only then be able to spread forgiveness even further.

You see, the beauty about forgiveness is that no one else needs to know about it, it’s a very internal movement we make that helps to create balance and puts everything back in order, it helps us to reconnect with other people, it enables us to live in society without judgments and hurt and so many other negative feelings that normally surround us on a daily basis. Forgiveness doesn’t have to be out loud for society to see, it’s not an award on the kindest human being on earth, but in fact it’s quite the opposite, it serves to remind us to be gentle with ourselves and others, it serves to show us that all human beings are delicate and feel just as much as we do and have pain just as much as we do.

My pain is not greater than yours, “The Descendants” showed me that too, in fact, my pain is irrelevant in most matters in my life, as long as I am aware of how my pain affects me and that I address it from time to time, then I got it covered, no one else needs to be pulled into my madness. It’s all very simple, because we all as human beings have issues going through life, and we can ask for help, we can scream for salvation, but we have to remind ourselves to not take advantage of our pain to get something out of someone else. Pity is an ugly feeling, why would anyone want anything to do with it anyway? Our pains are our own, and that’s the same with forgiveness, it’s our own and it serves to bring relief from the pain, the anger, the jealousy, the narrow-mindedness, you name it, there are so many feelings we can be forgiving about, but no matter what the issue is, we must always forgive and with time we may even forget.

We may forget the smaller things in life, the tiny feelings that come and go, we may be reminded of them from time to time too and they will serve to show us how silly we once thought of something, or someone, or as it is in most cases, ourselves.